5 killed and 10 wounded in Kabul suicide attack

A suicide attacker blew himself up during the security operation against illegal drugs and alcohol deals in the Afghan capital, Kabul, causing casualties among the security personnel. A Reuter’s reporter claimed that four police vehicles are seen leaving the scene in an area of the city not far from the US Embassy and other foreign missions with dead or wounded security personnel.

A security officer at the scene confirmed the explosion was caused by a suicide attack. Basir Mujahid, Kabul police spokesman said, at least five police officials were killed and 10 wounded but he said casualties’ number might vary. There is no official confirmation, yet police officers at the scene said that the bomber was wearing police or army uniform and had approached the security personnel group near where the controls on illegal drugs and alcohol had been carried out. 

“Kabul police force was present when a suicide bomber approached them and detonated his suicide vest, they could have stopped it from the tragedy,” Mujahid said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. The attack has happened days after a suicide bomber killed 41 people and wounded more than 800 at a Shi’ite cultural center in Kabul.

Sources – Hindustan Times, The Independent

13 killed, several wounded in bomb attack in Afghanistan

According to Reuters, 13 people which include both civilians, as well as Afghan army soldiers, were killed in Helmand by a car bomb attack on Sunday.Omar Zwak, the Helmand governor’s spokesman confirmed the casualties and added that 18 people were also wounded during the same. The attack occurred in a market in Nawa, a central district of the province. This area has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks due to the fight for control between the government forces and the Taliban insurgents.

Omar Zwak, the Helmand governor’s spokesman confirmed the casualties and added that 18 people were also wounded during the same. The attack occurred in a market in Nawa, a central district of the province. This area has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks due to the fight for control between the government forces and the Taliban insurgents.

The hospitals nearby which include Bost Hospital confirmed that they had received 10 wounded where as the Italian aid run hospital said they had received 3 dead and 19 wounded. The current situation of the wounded is still not clear.

This attack has come just days after a suicide bomber in Lashkar Gah killed 7 people and wounded 40 as the Taliban continued to try to restore strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan and to drive out each foreign force that has been backing the government in Kabul.

There has been no claim of responsibility by anyone as of now and nothing from the Taliban either. Helmand has seen a lot of attacks in the recent past by the Taliban as they control a majority of the area outside the provincial capital Lashkar Gah.

Ever since the Taliban has launched its so called spring offensive there has been a series of attacks in the country. The Central Kabul attack which was carried out on the 31st of May remains to be the deadliest attack ever since the US-led forces overthrew the Taliban from power in 2001.

Sources – BBC, EURO news

 

Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Iraqi Embassy in Kabul

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on the Iraqi embassy in Kabul on Monday.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at the main gate of the embassy allowing three gunmen to enter the compound. This was followed by gunfire that lasted for several hours until about mid-afternoon when the Interior ministry announced that the Afghan security forces had killed all the assailants.

There were conflicting reports regarding the casualties of the assault with the Islamic State in their claim stating that seven guards were killed, whereas according to the official statement of the spokesman of the Interior ministry, Najib Danish, only one guard was injured and there were no fatalities among the security forces or the civilians. However, as reported by Hindustan Times, a witness at the spot claims to have seen the bodies of at least two dead policemen outside the embassy soon after the attack.

According to Iraqi Foreign ministry, during the gunfight, its top diplomat in Kabul was taken to the Egyptian embassy and eventually, all the embassy diplomats and employees were evacuated to safety.

This attack comes two weeks after a press conference was held at the embassy, where the concern was raised that the local IS affiliate might plan large scale attacks elsewhere to draw away attention from their defeat in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Sources – HT, BBC

Suicide car bomb in Kabul kills over 35

Over 35 people have been killed in Kabul on July 24, 2017, after a car driven by a suicide bomber collided with a minibus carrying government officials. According to Sky News, the attack occurred in the western part of Kabul around 7 am during peak traffic hours. Kabul Police said, the government employees, who got killed belonged to the Afghan ministry of coal and petroleum. The Taliban has officially claimed responsibility for the attack by releasing a statement to Al-Jazeera. The blast also destroyed several small shops and other cars in the surrounding areas. Afghanistan’s interior ministry termed it as a “criminal attack against humanity.”

President Ashraf Ghani commented on the atrocity saying “Once again, these terrorist are attacking civilians and targeting government.” While the exact reason for the bombing hasn’t been found, it is speculated that the attack was aimed at a demonstration by the Hazara community, which was going to happen in the same area, against a similar suicide bombing that occurred last year, reported the Guardian. However, the demonstration was cancelled last minute due to several security reasons.

The conflict in Afghan continues with more accounts of violence and terror attacks being reported. A UN report states that over 1,6662 people have been killed because of the ongoing disturbances in the first half of 2017. While the casualty toll for this suicide attack stands at over 35, reports suggest that it could rise further.

Sources – Irish Times  , The Guardian Sky News

Judith D’souza: Indian woman Kidnapped by local gang in Kabul rescued and returned

By Rakshita Sareen

Judith D’Souza, an Indian woman who was kidnapped more than a month before, from Kabul, was rescued and reached Delhi today evening.

Informing about her arrival, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted “I have spoken to Judith. She is reaching Delhi this evening and Ambassador Manpreet Vohra is accompanying her.”

Judith has 15 years of experience in social sector and is working as a gender specialist in Aga Khan Foundation currently. She was about to return to India in a week when she was kidnapped on the night of June 9.

According to the police reports, Ms. D’souza was on her way to visit a friend and was accompanied by her driver and security guard, when few gunmen overtook them. The gunmen abducted Judith for the motive of getting some ransom, leaving behind her security guard and driver since they were Afghanis. The officials came to the conclusion after interrogating the two men accompanying Judith that this criminal act wasn’t carried out by the Taliban but by a gang in the Shomali Plains, which is close to the two men’s village.

Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India, Dr. Shaida Abdali had informed about the kidnappers being ‘gangsters, and not terrorist’ and that he was ‘optimistic’ about her return in an interview to The Hindu this week.

Twin explosions in Kabul kill 80, wound 231

Two suicide bombers detonated their explosive belts amidst a procession on Saturday in Kabul killing 80 and wounding 231. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility.

Thousands of demonstrators from a minority Shia group called Hazara had gathered to demand a multimillion power transmission line be rerouted through their impoverished home province. This would ensure power supply in their poverty-stricken area. The matter was taken to the government before, but they said it would involve high cost as well as delay.

It was the single deadliest attack in Kabul by the Islamic State. Deh Mazang Circle was littered with body parts, according to reports. 

The city was sealed off ahead of the procession. Security was tight with helicopters patrolling overhead.

The original plan was to make the line pass through Bamiyan, where Hazaras live, but the route was changed in 2013 by the previous Aghan government.

Hazaras constitute a mere 9 percent of the total population, forming Afghanistan’s third largest minority community; as a result they suffered discriminatory treatment over the years. Even under Taliban rule, thousands were killed.

Loud Explosion Followed by Gunfire in Kabul

Explosion followed by gunshots
Explosion followed by gunshots

Image Source: The Indian Express

An explosion rocked the Afghan capital where many government buildings and foreign embassies are situated in the presence of heavy security. Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesperson of the Interior Ministry, tweeted that explosion seemed to have come from a car bomb. According to the Police department, who were present in the scene, round of gunfire had broken out after the explosion. There were no reports of casualties from the incident site.

This blast had unexpectedly appeared after President Ashraf Ghani’s return from a regional peace conference in Islamabad which was to revive the long stalled peace talks with militants of Taliban. The blast was preceded by several calm months in the Afghan capital. The last attack in the area was in the airport complex in southern city of Kandahar claiming 50 lives including civilians and security forces personnel.

The Afghan official sources state that a woman blew up her explosives vest at the eastern Nangarhar province checkpoint which killed her three children. Officers from the NDS intelligence service stopped the car with the woman, her children and four men at the checkpoint due the suspicious-looking car.

The official stated that they couldn’t understand the local Afghan languages of Pashto and Dari and appeared to be speaking Russian. According to the provincial governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khugyani, “the attack had happened late on Thursday in the provincial capital of Jalalabad.”

Source: The Hindu